Life is Feeding Baked Alaska to Zombies

(If you get the title reference, much kudos and cookies!)

Obscure metaphors and me:

I enjoy using metaphors and imagery in my poems that reflects my life, is somewhat a reference, and those things that I get- because they make sense in my mind, but don’t necessarily in the minds of those people who read my poetry. For example:

‘Love having turned the blood

To wine, milk-white wine,

It itself dishes up a newer act…’

This was a piece of love poetry, indeed. In a way, it’s reflecting on my mind, my love of slipping in references and using puns to bring a point to light, but only I seem to have a knowledge of the true meanings behind words. I guess this is one problem of crafting my work; I like to be inventive, but am I veering on that too much so?

Another example: In a recent poem, the lines

‘Like patchwork, did the brownish-black

Fade onto pearlescent face’,

used the moon as a metaphor to represent the bags under the persona’s eyes. Although the girl I gave the poem to read understood that it was to do with madness, she couldn’t quite pick up on the imagery.

Is this simply a part of me, or a part of my ‘youth’ in the business of writing? Or do other writers experience the same pull of wanting to include the obscure for the sake of their work? I guess it’s different between prose and poetry, the former of which, in my opinion, a writer has a lot more control over.

Think about it; although prose is lengthier, one has a whole band of characters to look after, and narration to tidy up the bits that the characters can’t point out to the world. At first, I myself used to slip references into bits of my prose, but (at least, I hope) that inclination has far died down. It’s not that I will never do it, both consciously and unconsciously, but I rarely deliberately put obscure references in nowadays. I believe many other writers also go through this phase and change.

However, I cannot say the same for my poetry, as I have just revealed. With poetry, it’s not characters that are the main focus, nor plot or plot-devices, in general; it is the ornaments that become the poem. Those literary devices, in my opinion, need to be fancy and well-thought, otherwise I feel that a poem is lacking something.

This leads to extensive thought on my part, the dwelling into the regions that should be kept off-limits to steal imagery from. For love poems, especially, I use my own life to relate to the persona, to be able to contrive a metaphor that befits what this persona, alike to me, must be feeling. (It’s music, mostly, music and organists!) And, in case you hadn’t already realised, my mind is a very varied, complex world. It’s filled with so many ideas that shouldn’t be allowed to combine in such ways.

It’s not as if I have tried to rein in such tendencies either, unlike that which I did with my prose occurrences.

On the other hand, we could say that all poets have done that. Certainly, I know that past famous poets were influenced by their own lives in what they wrote, regardless of whether the two intertwined. It is an occupation, after all.

Advertisements

Thoughts, comments, replies...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s